It Feels So Good To Be A Lie
January 30 through February 27, 1999
Jessica Fredericks Gallery is pleased to announce an exhibition of new work by Christopher Chiappa. This will be the artist’s first one-person exhibition. Mr. Chiappa was included in the group exhibition “Naked & Famous” at this gallery in the summer of 1998, and is currently included in the exhibition “I’m a Virgin” at The Waiting Room, School of Art and Design, University of Wolverhampton, in the U.K.
In Christopher Chiappa’s work the grand gesture is suspect. Simplicity and stupidity are graceful. And fear and desire are just a Band Aid away. In Casket, Chiappa covers a coffin with 8000 Band Aids. Usually used to mend scrapes and nicks, the small bandages are multiplied into one final and overwhelming “OOPS.” Like Casket, Concrete Motorcycle Helmet and Infant’s Skateboarding Helmet create an absurd play between the functional and the useless, between safety and danger. Their failure is (dare we say) profound. Think Homer Simpson, Duff beer in hand, saying “It’s funny because it’s true.”
In several photo works, Chiappa references the visual styles of the 70’s conceptual artists like Wegman and Nauman. In these pieces step by step progressions are used to document the theatricality of stunningly ineffectual feats. The Advent Calendar is a series of photographs in which Chiappa documents the destruction of a large box structure comprised of seven 8’ x 4’ sheets of plywood, each standing vertically one after the other with a few feet distance between them. Using an ax the artist chops from one end to the other. The countdown is full of bravado and energy--each piece is pierced. The finale, well... the structure is spent, and we can assume the camera was packed up and then there was some sort of ride home.
Gallery hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 11am to 6pm. For further information and/or photographs please contact the gallery by telephone at (212) 633-6555 or fax at (212) 367-9502.